Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Reaction: Attention and Visual Memory in Visualization and Computer Graphics

The paper focuses on visual perception. The paper describes different theories supporting 'preattentive processing'. All the theories keep interest of the reader and we can easily emerge to a conclusion that, preattentive processing power of human should be used to draw focus of the visualizations to the most important data.

As the discussion moves to the visual memory aspect, some of the very interesting points are put forward. Firstly, human vision is far different from video cameras. Rather than creating a high resolution image, it creates an abstract view. The view changes only when significant changes occur and they get attended by the vision. The topics Change blindness and Inattentional blindness make an interesting read. Another point to be noted is that, some of the details are stored in the memory but can't easily retrieved unless explicitly asked for.

Finally the author spends some time in describing how the previously mentioned theories can actually be implemented in practice for visualizations and graphics. The author also mentions challenges in designing effective visualizations. This paper is surely an interesting and informative read for everyone who wish to build effective visualizations.